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Garnethill Synagogue

19 September 2021 (10:30, 11:40, 12:50, 14:00, 15:10)

Glasgow Doors Open Days Festival

Garnethill Synagogue is Scotland’s first purpose-built Synagogue and is a Category A listed building. An example of high Victorian architecture, it was designed by John McLeod of Dumbarton, in consultation with Nathan Joseph, a London Jewish Architect.

McLeod designed a number of churches and public buildings, including the Women’s Christian Association on Bath Street and the fruit warehouses of Simons, Jacob & Co, headed by Benjamin and Michael Simons, both leaders in the Jewish community.

The building exterior is Romanesque Revival and inside contains elements of Moorish, Romanesque and Gothic styles, with some Byzantine features.

The Prayer Hall has seating for approximately 500 worshippers. The focal point of the Synagogue is the Holy Ark (Aron Kodesh), set in an apse in the Eastern Wall, facing Jerusalem, housing the Torah Scrolls in which the Five Books of Moses are hand written on parchment. A domed window above the Ark has a panel on which are written the first two Hebrew words of each of the Ten Commandments.

The building is currently managed by the Garnethill Synagogue Preservation Trust and houses the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre and the Scottish Jewish Heritage Centre, which includes the Scottish Holocaust-era Study Centre.

For Doors Open Days, you can take guided tours of the building. Booking is essential - check back on this page on 1 September for the booking link.




Key Information

Architect: John McLeod

Building Date: 1879
  • 129 Hill Street
  • Glasgow
  • G3 6UB